Peeter Joot's (OLD) Blog.

Math, physics, perl, and programming obscurity.

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign.

Posted by peeterjoot on November 28, 2013

Here’s a sign that was recently installed in one of the men’s washrooms at work

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and a close up of it

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Yes, there is a set of men’s showers in the X1 location of the building, which is consistent with the graphic of the shower in the sign.  I couldn’t, however, for the life of me, figure out why somebody who was at the washroom sink would have to be reminded that the lab has shower facilities.  Nor could I figure out why we now had a sign that appeared to be instructing those at the sink to pray in the shower.

I’ve pointed it out this sign to a few people now when I was at the sink, but nobody else appeared to be able to decipher it.  Sofia, who is more wise in the ways of the world, told me what this is about: part of the Islamic prayer ritual involves washing one’s feet.

Sure enough, I remember that there was a guy who used to wash his feet in the bathroom sink in the summer.  He always wore sandals, and I thought his washing was because he thought his feet smelled (I wondered why he didn’t switch to socks and shoes if that was the case, and now feel silly for not just asking him).

So, it seems that this sign was likely commissioned and installed just for this one individual.  Somebody objected to his feet washing.  That objector was probably also completely ignorant like me, and likely didn’t know that this was part of his religious ritual.  I’d guess that foot washing objector still doesn’t know that.

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